|Corderral Smith posed as a "secret agent", to convince a man to kill his mother, Gloria Ryan: Myspace.com/Houston Chronicle|
(Story reported by Cindy Horswell for the Houston Chronicle)
Wearing camouflage, dog tags and military boots, Corderral Smith had an arrogant smirk and swagger when he boasted of being a secret agent.
His pregnant girlfriend and others never doubted him as he flashed official-looking documentation. More importantly, those cryptic documents included a purported arrest warrant for Smith's own widowed mother, Gloria Ryan, describing her as "dangerous and unfit to be around anyone."
Yet what amazed investigators most was how Smith used the warrant and his bigger-than-life persona to lure one acquaintance, Jason Rizzi of Humble, to kill his 50-year-old mother. Rizzi believed her to be a threat to national security and thought killing her would prove he was worthy to be hired as an undercover operative.
Yet in reality his mentor, Smith, was just a high school dropout who lived with his mother in Cleveland and worked as a day laborer.
A Liberty County jury has since convicted Smith, now 22, of capital murder for arranging his mother's killing and sentenced him to life in prison without parole.
Rizzi, who testified against Smith in exchange for a recommended 40 years behind bars, is scheduled to be sentenced in state District Judge Chap Cain's court Oct. 5.
(Click here to read the full story on the Houston Chronicle website.)